Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

6 Hidden Ways to Save at Costco

By Daniel B. Kline - Updated Jul 25, 2017 at 1:58PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The warehouse club has deals that some people may not consider.

A Costco store

Costco offers savings in areas many members don't think about. Image source: Costco.

Most people think of Costco (COST 0.83%) as a place to save money by shopping in bulk. That's certainly one way to keep more cash in your pocket when visiting the warehouse club, but it's not the only one.

There are many things you should always buy at a warehouse club, but Costco's shelves, website, and store-within-a-store areas also offer some not-so-obvious ways to save money. To get the full value of your $60 Gold Star membership, or your $120 Executive Membership, you'll need to be a little clever and look deeper into the store's offerings. That should be not only fun, but also rewarding as the savings start to pile up.

People toasting with wine and liquor

Costco has deals on wine and liquor. Image source: Getty Images.

Stock your liquor and wine cabinets

Not every Costco location has a liquor store, but the ones that do offer very low prices on name brands. In addition, the warehouse club has even better deals on its own Kirkland house brand. In general, these are high-quality liquors and wines produced by major brands and labeled under the chain's house brand. It may take some experimenting to find out which Kirkland products you like best, but the line compares favorably in taste, and even more so in price, to the best-known spirit or wine brands.

A woman tries on eyeglasses.

Glasses can be quite expensive, and Costco has them at lower prices than many, if not most, other places. Image source: Getty Images.

Get new glasses

Buying eyeglasses at the typical mall chain or a local purveyor can easily cost $200 to $500, depending on your needs and your insurance. Costco locations will generally have an eye doctor on premises (like the many mall stores do), and their prices for frames and lenses generally come in well below the competition.

The warehouse club may not have the huge selection some glasses-only stores do, but they have more than enough for most people. Even if you prefer to get your main pair of eyeglasses from another source, Costco is a great place to get a backup pair or some prescription sunglasses.

A man holds a hot dog and a soda

Costco offers cheap hot dogs, pizza, and more. Image source: Getty Images.

Have a meal

While people think of Costco as a place to buy food, many don't think of it as a place to sit down for a meal. Yet the company sells $10 pizzas, $1.99 slices, and much more food at cheap prices. Costco has charged just $1.50 for a hot dog and soda combo since 1985, and it also offers inexpensive ice cream and churros for dessert. And, of course, you can supplement your meal by walking around the store and grazing on the free samples.

A man talks with a car salesman.

Costco takes the negotiating out of buying a car. Image source: Getty Images.

Buy a car

While Costco does not stock cars in its warehouses, it does have an online program that helps members get good deals with local dealers. Basically, the warehouse club does your negotiating for you. The company makes the best possible deal for you, and all you have to do is pick up the car (and pay for it).

A happy family on the beach

Costco offers vaction packages that can often be a very good deal. Image source: Getty Images.

Take a trip

Many shoppers are also surprised to learn than Costco sells vacations on These packages can be much cheaper than a trip you book yourself. In general, the best deals are offered when you bundle airfare, hotel, and maybe a rental car. The warehouse club also sometimes has excellent prices on theme park package deals that include tickets.

A shopping cart

Splitting your purchases with someone else can save you money. Image source: Getty Images.

Split your purchases

One of the big problems for Costco customers is that buying in bulk can lead to spoilage, which turns a good deal into a bad one. One way to mitigate that is to shop with a buddy -- ideally someone who needs many of the same things you do.

It takes a little bit of work, but if you split your purchases with someone else, the quantities become more manageable. That can prevent you from having to throw stuff away or eating more than you should just to avoid waste. And remember that food isn't the only thing that spoils; certain medicines and cleaning supplies have a shelf life as well.

A person pumps gas.

Fueling up can be cheaper at Costco than at typical gas stations. Image source: Getty Images.

Gas up

Costco consistently sells gas at prices that are among the lowest of any chain. That's because the warehouse club sells fuel as a service to its members and to drive traffic to its stores. It also has limited-service pumps where no cash is accepted and traffic only flows one way. Those are minor concessions to save a few cents, or sometimes more, on each gallon.

Daniel Kline has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Costco Wholesale Corporation Stock Quote
Costco Wholesale Corporation
$560.96 (0.83%) $4.64

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/18/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.